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Dog Held for Ransom? It's a Civil Matter, Said Cops

File this under Whaat?: Someone is holding Kelly Myers' lost dog Tinkerbell for ransom ... and when she called the police, they refused to help her:

The alleged kidnapper called the dog's owner Friday morning. But when Myers thanked the male caller and offered him a $50 reward, he demanded $200.

"I just couldn't believe it. I was honestly shocked that someone could do that. We love our pets like we love our children," Myers said.

Worried for her dog's safety, she called the Sheriff's Department, but they told her it was a civil matter.


Wow, I can't believe that. When a man held my cellphone as ransom, the police went to pick up the phone for me and told him he could be arrested for extortion. They laughed and laughed about, they told me it was the highlight of their day.
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Something is wrong with that police department. This is a known crime where dogs are stolen and rewards are demanded. Theft and extortion. She needs to call the DA's office.
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I think there is more to this story. The victim makes it sound as if the dog was kidnapped, but offered a reward? The dog sounds like it was lost and somebody found it - then wanted to milk to situation.

You might be able to make an argument for extortion, but it doesn't sound like theft.

Also, I think $50 is a generous reward for finding a lost dog. $200 is a bit ridiculous.
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If a pet is like a kid then $200 isn't a lot. Also, it sounds like they might have just found the dog and used it to get money. Anyway, if the cops are busier with crimes against people I have nothing against this.
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Animals are considered personal property by most laws. Therefore if the dog in question is considered worth more than 250 (in my city) it would be considered a felony to keep the dog without the owners permission. Unless they are a sanctioned shelter.
The finder has the right to ask for compensation for any cost involved with the dog but thats all.
If you can consider the dog worth more than the minimum for a felony stealing charge in you city then the police should respond. But it sounds like your police dept. just didn't want to bother with it because they figured once you got the dog back you would not follow up on the charges. So it would be a waste of their time.
If you really want you dog back pay the money but keep proof of the payment then sue them in a civil court.
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don't ever tell someone you love your pet like you would your own children... that's just probable cause to keep the damn thing.
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